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Radisson Hotels&resorts launches a major new growth plan for Brazil

Radisson<.> Hotels & Resorts yesterday announced a strategic alliance with Atlantica Hotels International that will set the stage for the entry…

Radisson<.> Hotels & Resorts yesterday announced a strategic alliance with Atlantica Hotels International that will set the stage for the entry of the Radisson brand in Brazil, the eighth largest economy in the world, and accelerate the organization`s continued growth throughout Latin America.

This initiative marks an exciting landmark event for the growth of Radisson, said Jay Witzel, president and COO of Radisson Hotels & Resorts.

Atlantica Hotels International is a respected hotel industry leader in Brazil and the fastest growing independent hospitality company in South America, he said. The new partnership will develop first-class Radisson hotels and resorts throughout Brazil, expecting to add 10 hotels and resorts during the next 36 months. The first Radisson hotels in Brazil are expected to be announced mid July, 2001.

This alliance with Radisson Hotels & Resorts is a significant step in our company`s goal to expand with a leading global hotel brand into the upscale hotel segment of the hospitality industry, said Paul J. Sistare, president and CEO of Atlantica Hotels International and architect of the company`s new structure. Radisson brings global brand power through its key distribution channels, including an industry-leading Web site and through consumer and travel partner networks, said Sistare. Radisson also brings the added support of the Carlson Companies, Inc. network of travel-related companies, including Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Carlson Marketing Group.

Radisson is connected to 455,000 travel agents via the Global Distribution Systems (GDS), which reach 125 countries. Radisson`s toll-free reservations take reservations from 53 countries. The development strategy of Atlantica Hotels for Radisson includes conversion of existing hotels and new construction in leading business and leisure destinations throughout Brazil. Since its formation in 1998, Atlantica Hotels International has grown to more than US $675 million assets under management. With 14 hotels open and operating and additional hotels opening every 20 days, the company expects to have 25 hotels open by year-end. Atlantica Hotels International is the second largest hospitality group in South America, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This partnership is a win-win agreement because it combines the seasoned experience of Atlantica Hotels` development and management in Brazil with Radisson`s sales and marketing expertise in the global marketplace, said

Witzel. This alliance will certainly produce first-class Radisson hotels for world-class travelers,
he added.

Brazil has a bustling economy with the fifth largest consumer base and is growing in popularity as a leading tourism destination, said Witzel.

During 2000, 5.3 million travelers went to Brazil and that number is projected to grow to 6.5 million visitors by 2003.

Brazil is investing heavily in the infrastructure necessary to accommodate tourists, marketing and implementation of new legislation to facilitate capacity, said Sistare. According to recent estimates from tourist authorities, he added, $6 billlion (USD) will be invested from now until 2002 in the construction of new resorts, hotels and inns.

Hotels in the Region There are currently 18 Radisson hotels and resorts in key markets throughout Latin America, including Belize City, Belize; San Jose, Costa Rica; San Salvador, El Salvador; Antigua and Guatemala City, Guatemala; Panama City, Panama; La Paz, Bolivia; Santiago, Chile; Bogota, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Montevideo, Uruguay; Caracas, Venezuela; Chihuahua, Juarez, Mexico City, Acapulco, Ixtapa and Monterrey, Mexico. Many of these hotels have been built in conjunction with World Trade Centers. Radisson Hotels-Latin America, one of Radisson`s key development partners in Latin America, was recently recognized by Latin Finance`s Awards for Excellence for having eight of The Best Hotels in Latin America.

Minneapolis-based Radisson Hotels & Resorts and its parent company Carlson Hospitality Worldwide include over 730 hotel and resort locations in 64 countries, plus six cruise ships sailing worldwide. Other operations of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide include Regent International Hotels; Radisson Seven Seas Cruises; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson; Park Inn & Park Plaza Hotels; Carlson Lifestyle Living; Carlson Vacation Ownership; Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, which includes T.G.I. Friday`s and other restaurant brands; and Provisions, a worldwide procurement company.

Based in Sao Paulo, Atlantica Hotels International is South America`s first international hospitality management company to operate multiple international hotel brands. Primary development efforts are focused on the countries of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.